Oct 17 2014

The Paris Museum of Letters and Manuscripts

Romana & de Sade

The week before last I visited an exhibition on the works of the Marquis de Sade at this lesser-known Paris Museum, featuring many of his handwritten letters and manuscripts, the highlight of which is the 12-metre roll of manuscript on which de Sade wrote The 120 Days of Sodom, during his years in prison in …

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Mar 09 2014

Which ‘apps’ are best for learning French?


The best apps for learning French

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Dec 27 2013

escaping hotels


I’m often asked by people heading to France whether I would recommend they stay in a hotel or an apartment. I say ‘apartment’ every time, and have been renting apartments myself in France once or twice a year for over ten years now. In an apartment, you will have more space, you can go to …

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Mar 24 2013

no escaping Parisians


Yesterday I attended one of the breakfasts held as part of the Australian Festival of Travel Writing (thanks to my invitation which came from My Fench Life/Ma Vie Francaise), where the speaker was Olivier Magny, French writer and wine expert, and author of Stuff Parisians Like, and its French version Dessine-Moi Un Parisien, and his latest book Into Wine, which is so new it’s not yet even on Amazon, but you can see it on Olivier’s website.

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Feb 10 2013

no escaping… the memory of Thierry Roland

An article in my local newspaper on a recent France-Germany ‘friendly’ soccer match at the Stade de France informed us that the commentary box had been officially baptized with the name Thierry Roland in memory of the legendary French TV soccer commentator. This is what I wrote about him in Chapter 11 ‘A Sporting France’ …

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Feb 04 2013

no escaping crêpes, or ‘fat Tuesday’


I have just been to a delightful Candelas crêpe party, where I indulged in far more pancakes than I care to admit. Candlemas is such a lovely word, although seldom heard these days, and of course the French occasion, officially held today Sunday 3rd February, is known as la Chandeleur.

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